Exploring the Migration-Food and Nutrition Security Nexus: How Aid Policies Can Maximize the Migration-Related Sustainable Development Opportunities

  • Roberto SensiEmail author
  • Michele Pedrotti


The 2014–2015 refugee crisis gave a sharp turn in the European policies on migration. The international development cooperation become a strategic tool for intervening on the so called “root causes” of migration with the aim of prevent further migration flows to Europe. The idea of the “root causes” have reduced the nexus among migration and development to a cause-and-effect relationship that sees the development of a country as a solution to stop migration without verifying the consistency of this relation. This vision has led to a justification among European immigration policies to increase funds for development cooperation in the origin and transit countries of migratory flows with the aim to curb with migration to Europe. In reality, in the short term, greater development generally constitutes a push factor to migrate, by putting people in conditions to move owing to the increased resources available. The migration and food and nutrition security nexus explored in this chapter is a perfect example for better understanding the complex nature of the relationship among migration and development. The potential role of migration for development been recognized in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development Agenda with a specific target 10.7, although remains silent on broader contribution of migration to development outcome. Further, the use of aid policies for security purposes has led to their instrumentalization which has been happening in three ways: (i) by inflating aid-spending, (ii) by diverting aid from its main purpose of alleviating poverty and instead making the interest of donor to prevent migration and (iii) by increasing conditionalities for recipient countries by binding aid to their effort in preventing migrants to come to Europe. Italy is being a perfect example of what this “instrumentalization of aid” for migration purposes. Migration is part of a wider development process and It is not its negative consequence. Considering migration as a development opportunity implies to go beyond the root causes idea which is being resulting in the manipulation of development assistance for security purposes and, at the same time, a blunt tool for reshaping migration patterns. It can only happen with a radical rethink of how success in migration and development policies itself is defined and in promoting policy able to maximize the positive effects of migration.


Food-migration nexus Livelihood interventions Aid policies 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Policy Advisor Global InequalityActionAidMilanItaly
  2. 2.Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Foundation (BCFN)ParmaItaly
  3. 3.Research and Innovation Center, Department of Food Quality and NutritionFondazione Edmund MachSan Michele all’AdigeItaly
  4. 4.Food Quality and Design GroupWageningen University and ResearchWageningenNetherlands

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